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Published August 28, 1981 | public
Journal Article

Microbial Competition


Populations of microorganisms inhabiting a common environment complete for nutrients and other resources of the environment. In some cases, the populations even excrete into the environment chemicals that are toxic or inhibitory to their competitors. Competition between two populations tends to eliminate one of the populations from their common habitat, especially when competition is focused on a single resource and when the populations do not otherwise interact. However, a number of factors mitigate the severity of competition and thus competitors often coexist.

Additional Information

© 1981 American Association for the Advancement of Science. We thank R. Aris and P. Waltman for many helpful suggestions about competition and M. J. Bazin for making it possible for us to present some ideas about competition at the Second International Symposium on Microbial Ecology in September 1980. Financial support was provided in part by the National Science Foundation to A.G.F. and by the Bush Foundation and the University of Minnesota Graduate School to G.S.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023